John Hunter Nemechek once again showed speed, led laps and ran up front, but his tough start to the 2022 season continued Saturday in the Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After starting at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments, Nemechek finished ninth in the opening stage of the race and took his first lead of the race on lap 51.
The second-generation driver would battle with ThorSport Racing driver Ty Majeski with the laps winding down in the second stage. The stage would ultimately end under caution with Nemechek scored in first, picking up 10 stage points and an additional playoff point.
Nemechek and the No. 4 team would be scored eighth as the field took the green flag for the final stage. With just 24 laps remaining and running in the top-10, the No. 4 Pye-Barker Tundra suffered a flat tire after brushing the wall. The damage forced Nemechek to go two-laps down and ultimately finish 24th.
Despite not having the finishes to show for it, the talented wheelman has led double-digit laps in each of the first three races this season and leads the Truck Series with three stage wins.
Stage One Recap:
- Nemechek was scheduled to start 12th in Saturday’s 135-lap event at Atlanta Motor Speedway but was forced to start at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments.
- The second-generation driver quickly made his way into the top-20 as he was scored 19th on lap four.
- Nemechek took advantage of a run on the inside lane as he worked his way up to 12th with just five laps remaining in the opening stanza.
- As the field took the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One, Nemechek was able to gain three more spots, up to ninth and earn two stage points.
Stage Two Recap:
- Nemechek brought his No. 4 Pye Barker Fire & Safety Tundra TRD Pro down pit road for a fuel only stop during the stage break and gained four spots, restarting the second stage in fifth.
- The 24-year-old driver quickly moved up to second behind Halmar Friesen driver Stewart Friesen where the two Toyota Tundra TRD Pro’s would control the top-lane for the next 13-laps.
- Nemechek took his first lead of the day on lap 51 as he was able to clear the No. 52 of Friesen.
- As the second stanza continued, Nemechek went back-and-forth with Ty Majeski for the lead before the second caution of the day came out on lap 55.
- The second stage would ultimately end under caution with Nemechek scored in first, earning an additional 10 stage points and one playoff point.
Final Stage Recap:
- The No. 4 team elected for four tires and fuel during the stage two break and would restart the final stage in eighth as the first six trucks decided to stay out.
- Nemechek would compete in the top-10 throughout the final stage of the race before having a tire cut down with 24 laps remaining.
- The damage from the blown tire would send the No. 4 Tundra up into the outside fence, forcing Nemechek to bring his Pye-Barker Tundra down pit road for repairs.
- The No. 4 assessed the damage and sent Nemechek back out onto the track two laps down, resulting in a 24th-place finish.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Pye-Barker Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
What happened with you getting the damage?
“I got to the outside of the No. 38 and he squeezed me a little bit and I lost air on the right rear and ended up touching the fence and ruined our day.”
Fr8 208 Recap:
- Corey Heim picked up the first win of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski, Chandler Smith, and Zane Smith rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
- There were 7 cautions for 40 laps. There were 10 lead changes among 10 drivers, including Nemechek who led twice for 11 laps.
How Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished first.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finish fourth.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
Despite the 24th-place finish, Nemechek remains eighth in the Camping World Truck Series standings, 52-points behind the leader.
Nemechek will be back behind the wheel of the No. 4 ROMCO Tundra TRD Pro as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to The Circuit of the Americas (Austin, TX) on March 19. Live coverage of the XPEL 225 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 1 p.m. ET.